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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Yogi Lang

No Decoder

Review by Gary Hill

This is a solo album from RPWL’s Yogi Lang. A lot of the music sounds like it could have come from that band, but there are a few pieces that deviate from that image. RPWL often sounds a lot like Pink Floyd, so much of this disc feels like that, too. Where ever you place the musical references and comparisons, though, this is a great melodic progressive rock release. It should please fans of RPWL, but also be a welcome purchase for those who like Pink Floyd and other melodic prog.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Can't Reach You

This instrumental definitely feels like it would be at home on an RPWL album. It starts off with keys and guitar joins after a time. The sound is very much like Pink Floyd and the guitar soloing is quite Gilmouresque.

Sacrifice
The opening motif here is hard rocking and not typical of an RPWL sound. Much of the music, though, does fall closer to that style and the vocals, with their David Gilmour-like sound, again resemble Lang’s band. There is a more ambient section later, though, that seems a departure from the kind of thing we’re used to from RPWL. That section turns out into a killer keyboard solo.
Our World Has Changed
The first part of this song is acoustic based, but it powers out to harder rocking territory later. This very much feels like something from the Gilmour led version of Pink Floyd. It’s a great tune.
Sail Away
It wouldn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to think that this was some long lost cut from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon sessions. Of course, it would probably also be possible to convince someone that Robert Berry was responsible for this as a track inspired by Pink Floyd. There is even a saxophone solo provided. Whatever the consideration, though, this is instantly familiar and quite potent.
Our Modern World
Somehow this feels like a track from Pink Floyd’s Final Cut album. It moves out to some more ambient weirdness later, though.
No Decoder
The title track, this is an instrumental. Some of the keyboard based sections feel a bit like Rick Wakeman, but once the guitar starts soloing, it again feels very much like Pink Floyd.
Alison
The vocals on this call to mind David Gilmour, but the music is really not in that style. It’s a balladic number. It’s strong and quite lush in arrangement. The guitar solo does feel a bit like Gilmour, too, but there is also some café like music later that makes it feel rather French.
A Million Miles Away
A slow moving jam, the vocals on this are spoken. It’s one that has little in common with Pink Floyd, although the chorus is more along that line with a David Gilmour sort of edge to them. This one really is different from a lot of the other music, yet its prog rock sounds are quite consistent with the rest of the songs.
Say Goodbye
There are some killer strings built into this number. Comparisons to Gilmour are appropriate, but that’s more of a starting point than the whole picture.
SenseValue
The ghosts of Pink Floyd are pretty thoroughly dispelled here. A fast paced number, this feels closer to Trick of the Tail era Genesis a lot of the time, but there is also some definite fusion in the mix. This instrumental even wanders out towards prog metal at times. It’s a very dynamic and powerful number.
A Better Place For Me
The vocals call to mind Pink Floyd, but the music is closer to something like Porcupine Tree. This is a pretty balladic number. It gets more powerful as it continues. There’s a great retro sounding keyboard solo.
 
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